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Post Retirement Outdoor Income
I've always thought about ways to generate some extra income after retirement doing stuff you love in the outdoors to help pay for some hunts. This time of year, I think about all the morel mushroom hunting I could do starting in the southern part of my home state of Iowa or even Missouri and working my way north as I mix in some turkey hunting. They go for around $35/lb. here.
Fur trapping in the fall.
Heading west for some coyote trapping and hunting.
Spring muskrats in SD.
Selling veggies at the local farmers market.
I know western Montana and the panhandle of Idaho have huckleberries that go for some pretty high dollar.
What are some things you guys in other parts of the country could do for outdoor income?
I know a buddy of mine who made some good cash picking Leeks and selling them to market.
I'm going to start my own custom mount business. No shoulder mount or taxidermy, that field is saturated. Euro wall designs, pedestal bases, but primarily euro specialty designs that are custom made to order and fabricated from metal or wood. I've got a lot of ideas in my head and I've got plenty of portals to market my work. Now, to get my shop built and keep my wife from stuffing it full of crap. :)
You could go to Colorado and grow weed and psychedelic mushrooms and then get ready for heroin poppies! I wonder if coca will grow that far north? ;-)
WW, In those realms, I'm a consumer not a producer. ;-p
This would depend on if you have land/space. But “farm to table” type stuff is huge right now. And I don’t think it’s going away. People are just more aware of little details. Eventually I think prices will level out but I think right now would be the golden age of being able to hobby farm (all naturally) and of you market it right I think there could be some decent profit in it. Not life changing, but I think a guy could do well. Eggs, meat, vegetables etc
Horn hunting.....got a few buddies who usually pick up $2,000 or so worth of bone every year. Assuming the prices stay where they are or go up. Lot of work though. Lots of gas expense too so I don’t know how much they actually clear. Good way to stay in shape and be in the woods.
I had a client from MI that claimed to make $60,000/year growing petunias in the spring around Mother’s Day and sold them all on the honor system as people would put their money in a coffee can. He had 3 pals with him that vouched for it. I think he was honest with me in spite of it being his story. One of the funnest parts of my job is that I get to see the huge number of ways a person can make a buck in America if they are willing to take a chance, work hard and stick with it. Making good-honest money is only limited by your imagination. What a country!
Is it legal to sell deer parts, I mean, other than hides? I know you can't sell the meat.
I may have harped on it a few times, but I think the easiest, and one of the funnest ways to make money in the outdoors is being a big game guide. I don't know why the field isn't saturated but in fact outfitters are stranded for good guides. Fishing same thing. Talk about a fun way to make REAL money in the summer. Go work at a fly-in fishing lodge and easily earn $200+ per day after tips. Plus it's fun. You're talking post retirement, hopefully you don't have kids at home depending on you :) Guiding hunters is also really fun, and usually even more money.
Sounds like you and many on here are talking about another JOB, not retirement. The best way to ruin something you love, like hunting/fishing, is to turn into a JOB. Make no mistake, guiding is hard work. It's not the same as hunting for your own pleasure.
When you don't guide full time, it isn't work. I've loved every minute of it. Many of us guide newbies and friends all the time at our own expense. Except now you get paid. Maybe I think of it differently. Guess it also depends how you currently hunt/fish. If you are a relaxical hunter/fisherman and have to go harder than you normally do maybe it's tough.
Years ago I knew a guy who dug ferns and sold them to florists. I believe he had to dig quite a few to make $10/hour.
I'm with Ziek. Big game guiding is hard work and takes time away from what I love in the fall. Fishing guiding is ok if you live near in-demand water and want to go through the hassle and work for a fly shop, then deal with customers with unrealistic expectations.
I retired so I could do all that stuff as much as I want, not watch others do it. I paid for all my hunting expenses and got tax writeoffs by writing for a few years, but with so many print mags going down and writer's fees being reduced I backed off that and now just scout, hike, hunt, fish, shoot, work out, tend my late wife's flowr garden, and do volunteer stuff. I don't miss "paid work" for one single second. Ever.
When I retire I am going to make extra money being a male stripper.
In all seriousness. If you are able to work I would work at your career and maximize what you can earn until you fill you can retire on budget you are comfortable you will not run out of money.
With that said I have always had a goal of being able to retire in my early 50s. I've been very thrifty and saved for that goal. Now that I am getting closer (42). I am not sure being full retired at that age would not become boring. So I have though if I could find something I would enjoy that was seasonal. I worry that if I don't have a purpose to wake up and do most days, life would be bland between planned huts/trips. Still having lots of time to hunt and travel that could be perfect. What if anything that will be I have no clue. In the mean time while on track I am not to that point yet. So mostly focusing on getting to that point.
John, you could spend even more time volunteering at the archery range, then help me stock fish, tear out beaver dams and trap beavers, and I'll give you a badge so you can bust violators. Don't worry, I'll keep you busy!
I have been cutting lodgepole and saving the premium cuts for shundoo arrows, and selling the rest as firewood.
I took a young outfitter caribou hunting and he was to take me mule deer hunting. I ended up guiding 45 days that fall. Led to off and on guiding for the next 15 years and while I made some money, it was the extra time hunting (you don't have to shoot to enjoy a hunt) that was the big appeal.
I also got to shoot a few very good critters.
Doubt you will “net” much in coyote fur sales, or for that matter any trapping/fur endeavor.
I would personally like to make some things like knives and calls. Duck calls, turkey slates, etc.
The knife thing really interests me. I REALLY like custom drop points with unique wood handles. I would love to make some of my own.
A family friend, during a long retirement, had a small wood working shop, and made bird houses and things like that for friends and family. I'm sure a person could sell some of that type of stuff if they wanted to. . . Wouldn't make a lot, but a little extra spending money
You could make bows. . . .my bow guru recently got the longbow itch, and bought an oven and made some. Of course, he's much handier than I'll ever be. He's a cabinet-maker by trade, and the type of guy that will buy a motorcycle that is just parts in a box (he did that, which astounds me as I would have parts left over)
I think guys that are good with building/fabricating things, if they had a shop, and weren't dependent on that income, could make some decent extra money building/fabricating unique things
Put a food plot into sweet corn and sell sweet corn.
The guiding thing is fun and rewarding in both personal and financial ways. It isn’t for everybody. It changes when your getting paid for performance compared to doing it your way and learning as you go. Luckily, most of your clients will be awesome compadres in the field. Some will be horrible human beings...if you work with the public I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. The latter can burn you out. As a guide you have to be much more than a good hunter. You have to be part hunter, butcher, taxidermist, counselor, entertainer, tracker, cook, dishwasher, cowboy, mechanic, gunsmith, doctor, motivational speaker, photographer, and yes baby sitter. And the list goes on. You also have to find a balance between tolerance and stubbornness because some clients will want to guide you and then hold you responsible for their mistakes. Some hunters you have to let fail at their own pace. Some hunters will self-sabotage their hunts mentally and physically in ways your friends will never believe. Many hunters will come in with a bit more confidence than they have skills to back it up so you will have come up with a way to help them be successful. You’ll have guys think you are a leach of society for getting paid to hunt animals and you get people who are envious of your job. You’ll get fools that think they know as much or more than you even when they’ve never done it. It can be tricky. But the rewards are great. Guiding somebody into an awesome trophy makes you feel good. Showing a great hunter a few tactics that they’ve never seen before will cause them to respect you in ways that are awesome. You make friends that last a lifetime. And the financial rewards can be huge. Some of the sportsmen you would almost guide for free. Others will be such miserable souls that their is no amount of money to make fair compensation possible. It’s hard work, fun as heck and can be a good source of income. It isn’t for everybody but might be for you. You won’t know until you try it. A great guide is in high demand and average guides are common. Poor guided are a dime a dozen. I’ve been doing it full time for so long I can’t imagine doing anything else. There is always room in the business for a great guide that is willing to work his way to excellence.
I get by just on the residual checks Pat sends me for all the alias posting and subsequent clicks it generates.
John, I just retired last year from the military at age 44. So far I have been more than busy building a house. I think I can stay happy scouting, messing with gear, reloading, and hunting but time will tell. I don't have to work to pay the bills and still have some spending money.
Had plenty of people ask me if I will be a hunting guide. So far I am trying hard not to turn my passion into a job. I hunted 60 to 90 days a year when I worked and always wanted to do more...
Haha. You guys all think small......go catch pike minnows. Five months of fishing......
Huntcell, very clever! I think I'll keep him on his toes and click on some PETA sites before I click on bowsite. Surely he's getting tired of seeing "pornhub" and "youporn" by now. :)
Embry how do you even know what those sites are????
You could open a dog walking business good exercise. Pay is pretty good to one gal offered 15 bucks an hr get 5 dogs walk them all at once there you go.
The selling plasma is really the way to go. You can make a hundred bucks a week for about 3 hrs time. 400 a month and do it from December to Sept. 9 months and 3600 bucks that would get me whitetail tags in Kansas, Illinis, and pay for my gas and lodging as well. Shawn
"John, I just retired last year from the military at age 44."
Excited to do the same at 39 years old! Tell me more about how your retirement is going, if you could. Many of the people I know go immediately back to work once they've retired from the military, mainly because they have debt mounting up for years and no way to pay for it all. I'd like to not be forced back into working once I am done, doing all I can to ensure that is the case.
Yard work, grass cutting, leaves raking, flower bed weeding and planting, and gutter cleaning all in demand around here in the South.
Get some equipment ( and subject knowledge ) and become a food plot specialist and contractor.
I was going to do a spin off of Johns stripper job. My income would be maximized if I started off naked and people would pay me to put clothes back on.
Retirement = half the money and twice the wife.
Lmao ^^^^ I have seen that formula with an additional clause.
I’m still trying to decide myself
You mentioned Morels....how about doing some mushroom farming. You can make a buttload of scratch if you grow the right ones and get hooked up with some resturants and chefs. They also sell like hotcakes at the local farmers markets.
Unfortunately no on has ever invited a way to grow morels kinda crazy
I love yard work. My 10 year old daughter said I'm good at 2 things, bowhunting and mowing grass. Lol. I'll take that.
Seriously though....if a person worked around 20 hours a week during mowing season you could easily make $3k per month. You just need a stand in for a few weeks while you elk hunt.
I make these and do some leather work.
Nick, I invested a fair amount during my career. Also ended up with 5 rental houses once I started keeping them after each move. Made it through one divorce without trashing things too badly. Cashed it all in on our retirement home. My wife is still working towards her state retirement as a teacher so that helps. Our only debt is the mortgage. I'm not flush with cash, but I can still hunt 3 or 4 states every year.
Last fall was my first free hunting season. I spent 10 days hunting elk in NM last Sep. Then I rolled up to MT for 2 weeks of elk. Hunted birds some in Oct. Headed back to MT for 2 weeks of deer in Nov. Chased quail, coyotes and helped dad get a Javelina over the winter. Pretty good time. Looking forward to WY this sep...
Nick, I'm on short/final too and will retire at age 44. One piece of advice I have for you is to take a hard look at a retirement calculator before jumping ship. An extra six years doubled my take-home retirement income. Not trying to discourage you from punching at 20, maybe it's the right call. Just do your homework. Like you, I have no plans to work after retirement.